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Save trees by reducing printing

Trust: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Location: Across Sussex and Hampshire 

Circular Economy icon
Circular Economy

What's the idea?

Sussex Partnership’s paper use averages around 70 trees per month. They set out to reduce paper use and increase digital paperwork.  

Growing trees for paper reduces the natural biodiversity of woodlands, and impacts on the wider environment. Currently around 45% of trees grown around the world are planted to be used for paper. 

In addition to costing the environment, it also costs money. 

SPFT asked staff to #papercut and linked paper use to the number of trees to make it relatable.  

Member of staff on phone
“The estimated annual cost of paper storage is between £500,000 and £1million for each Trust – money which could be spent instead on more doctors and nurses.” NHS England 

How you could implement a similar idea

Check in with your digital team who will be able to give you current printing stats, so you can baseline your starting point. 

Your digital team may also be able to support with ideas around printer set ups, or replacements to better manage printing across the organisation. 

A poster by the printer to let people know how many trees each month go on paper might help people think about what they are printing more. 

Use communications from in-office screens to news updates to help spread the word.  



If you’re interested but would like a bit more understanding around the impact of paper production on our environment check out these links for more information and inspiration…

The Care Without Carbon difference

Using less paper helps to save water

It takes between 2 and 13 litres of water to produce a single A4-sheet of paper, depending on the mill
Person using filling up water bottle from water fountain

Producing paper creates carbon emissions

40 reams of paper equates to 1.5 acres of pine forest absorbing carbon for a year
Stacks of paper

Double up

Printing on both sides of the paper halves the carbon footprint of the paper use, saving up to 1.5kg per ream of paper. This equates to the energy needed to charge 180 smart phones
Person using smart phone
Paper screwed up in bin
Paper screwed up in bin

What else can I do?

Already got an idea?